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DBJ awards grants to seven companies prepared by Branson Centre

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Seven companies prepared by Branson Centre Caribbean have been awarded grants from the Development Bank of Jamaica's (DBJ) IGNITE programme which represents the largest grant pool for the second installment of the project.

The IGNITE grant programme aids the accelerated growth of a group of innovative business ventures by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

IGNITE is specifically geared towards funding projects with high levels of innovation that may otherwise not be funded. The programme will last for a period of 18 months between January 2019 and July 2020 — with an additional year of monitoring. Selected businesses will be introducing new products and services within the Jamaican and overseas markets.

DBJ awards top performing businesses in the programme and grants are channelled through business service intermediaries such as Branson Centre Caribbean.

“This is our second time partnering with DBJ for the IGNITE grant programme and we are happy to support its expansion,” said Branson Centre Entrepreneur Programme Director Dmitri Dawkins.

Programme requirements ensure that entrepreneurs integrate better business practices through governance, business training and compliance.

Branson Centre's high-touch preparation and vetting process involves reviewing initial applications, providing feedback for improvements, and preparing entrepreneurs with the best alignment to the programme. Dawkins shared that Branson Centre Caribbean negotiates with funding partners like DBJ to get capital for projects. Awardees also receive additional support through advisory boards, project monitoring, grant disbursements and business training.

The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean was launched in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 2011 by business magnate Sir Richard Branson and is the Caribbean's leading business accelerator for scale-up entrepreneurs, bringing world-class entrepreneurial support to the region.